Teenage Heartbreak and Fiery Promises.
Oh, does it hurt! That deep pain of having your heart broken. Torn into pieces. Ripped to shreds. Eviscerated.
There are countless songs written about losing love, being in deep pain from love, unrequited love. All the flavors of love and pain spin round and round in lyrics and music and movies and stories.
Love and pain go together. Like ice cream and hot fudge. Like roses and thorns. One invites the other. Can we enjoy the pain of being in love? Can we enjoy the love of being in pain?
Once upon a time, there was a young teenage girl who had fallen in love with a dangerous, smiling daredevil of a boy. He was magnificent. Dark soulful brown eyes and brown hair to match. He smelled like the woods after rain. Back in the time of corded phones, she would sit on her porch for hours and talk with him about absolutely nothing. She fell in love. Hard.
They would hang out at school, in the woods, at her house, and smile and laugh and enjoy being. She was smitten. She decided he was definitely the one. The one she wanted to explore with. Play with. Dive into her sexuality with. And so she did. She played and enjoyed and went on adventures with him. And she made a plan. She was going to lose her virginity to him.
She was going to let the joy overwhelm her and him, and create an explosion of love and light.
She plotted. She made a map. She decided to go to his house one night, late at night, in the darkness with a brilliant full moon. A moon of possibility and freedom. A moon of expansive emotion and lust.
With her heart in her throat, she pried open the window screen of her bedroom and crawled out into the dark. She got onto her bicycle and rode down the road. She got to a dark river and, not knowing how deep it was, forded the river with her bicycle. Dark, flowing river lit up by a brilliant full moon. No Cerberus in sight on the river Styx. No guard dog on the limbo river between the world and the underworld.
No protector. Just a young reckless woman in young reckless love. In a feat of impossibility, she carried her bicycle across the river to the other side and continued riding. Love can overcome river depths. Love does not see the danger, it simply is. Love moves us through. Love gives us the power to keep going.
Soaking wet in jeans and a t-shirt in the middle of summer, she got back on her bike and pedaled further still. Drive. Misplaced teenage passion and force of will. An exercise in what is possible.
She made it to his treehouse and chose to explore and dive into new sensations and reality that only comes through transformation. Teenage adventures in the backwoods in Michigan.
But after… after… instead of living happily ever after, they stopped talking. The passage of the sands of time make it impossible for her to remember why they stopped talking. Was it too awkward? Did he stop talking to her? Did she stop talking to him? What happened? The connection was severed.
Her heart was irrevocably broken. Pain. Suffering. Despair. No one will ever love me. The thoughts and feelings were as white hot as the newly discovered electric sexual sensations. Raw. Bloody. Sharp.
She turned to her woods and her trees.
I distinctly remember when I turned to my woods and trees. I remember crying for days. I remember wanting the pain to end, and, clinging to the pain because at least it was a reminder of what was. The beauty that was. When something dies, simply clinging to the feeling of death is at least a shadow of its life. I clung tightly to the pain.
One day, after the rain had lifted and the pine trees were dark with the earth’s tears and the scent of moss and mold permeated the wind, I walked out into the clearing in the woods. My clearing. An expansive and open space of light and tree hugs. I screamed. I yelled. I cried. I asked for the trees to take my pain.
The oaks and maples watched me. The held space around me, above me, and underneath me. They watched a young girl plead with them. I could feel them smile knowingly and laugh with a sweet kindness of old beings witnessing.
“Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.” ~ The Princess Bride
I got on my knees in the wet, sandy dirt, and I begged. I pleaded. I asked them to take the pain. And suddenly, I realized that walking through fire was exactly what was needed. I needed to feel the pain. Feel the fire. Feel the full force of the heartbreak.
So I did. I felt it. I cried and beat my fists into the mud. I cried until I felt sick. I felt the full force and wave of despair and exhaustion. I gave in. I surrendered to the pain.
And in that moment of fire and thunder and rain and muddy surrender, I came upon a vow. A promise. A realization. A spark that would light my life from that minute forward.
I shouted to the trees. I promised them that I would wear my heart on my sleeve. I committed to falling in love and having my heart broken again and again and again. I promised them that as long as they supported me, I would do this. I would take on this journey. I would fall in love. I would allow my heart to break. I would love more deeply, more strongly than I thought possible.
Love through pain. Love through breakage. Love through despair. I vowed. I promised. I swore.
Those dear trees have held me to my promise again and again and again. Ex-fiance. Ex-husband. Ex-partner. And deeper still, all of the friendships and small waves of love. Conversations with the woman at the coffee shop. A stranger on a bus. So many villagers and family at festivals and awakening events across the world. I fall in love again and again and again. And my heart breaks again and again and again.
I would not have it any other way. And, the maples and oaks would not stand for it. I made a promise. Full force into the fire. Sacred Intimacy with the trees and the planet. Love, expansive love. A silly teenage dream and broken heart turned into a lifelong practice of love.
May I be happy, may I be healthy, may I be wise. May I be wild. Wildfire love. Unabashed, unashamed, and willing to consume and be devoured to serve. Love. All love. And then there is only love. Lean into the support of the maples and oaks, the rain and fire. May I fall in love again and again and again in small and large ways. May I allow death and heartbreak to blast me open and continue to burn freely.
You are love.
Emily Dryzga grew up in the middle of the woods in Michigan. As a young child, she learned to sync/sink into the moss, wild blueberries and wintergreens, and listen to the maple trees, salamanders and pines. She is a Shaman Priestess, Sacred Intimacy Coach, Astrologist, Acudetox Specialist, Shiatsu Bodyworker, Yoga Teacher and Corporate Recruiter/HR Lady. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Saginaw Valley State University, and a Master’s degree in Cultural Psychology from The University of Chicago. She has navigated the realm of Corporate America for over 10 years, and is deep within her lifelong practice of being wild. She works to help healers heal themselves. She teaches the art of being present to your emotions and connecting to nature and wild to find an empowered and balanced space in the world. Connect with Emily via her website.